December 8, 2008

Bariatric Surgery May Cure Liver Disease

Obesity is becoming one of the most common causes of liver disease in the nation. A popular surgery may resolve the dangerous disease and its cause.

A recent study shows bariatric surgery, a popular and effective weight loss method for morbidly obese individuals, improves or completely resolves complications associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in a majority of patients.

Of patients with steatosis, or fat accumulation in the liver cells, 91.6 experienced improvement or resolution of the problem. For patients with steatohepatitis, a more severe form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, improvement or resolution arrived at 81.3 percent, and 65.5 percent of patients with fibrosis saw improvement or resolution. Fibrosis can lead to cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease and cancer.

In 69.5 percent of patients with steatohepatitis, the problem was completely resolved through bariatric surgery.

Estimates show about 70 percent of obese individuals have NAFLD and 85 to 95 percent of morbidly obese individuals also have it.

SOURCE: Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2008


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